Monday, February 8, 2016

PICK A FORECAST

Currently in Goodyear AZ (Low 46 Sunny and Warm High 83) 

Shall we play a game? We know this is mean, but!

We suffered through the summer in the Valley of the Sun and first had 100 degrees on May 1st. Our last 100 degree day was October 14th. In between we had 106 days where it was 100 degrees or higher. One day we hit 117 which is one of the hottest days ever here. All the while we heard how much cooler it was in other parts of the country. So here it is, payback!

The game is called "Pick A Forecast".

How about Minneapolis?



Perry, Iowa?



Pella, Iowa?



Overland Park, KS?



Or where we are, the Phoenix area?



Hope you enjoyed the game. We are enjoying the weather but it is a little early in the winter to be having 80s. Who knows, we may have to run the air conditioner today :-)

Till next time,

Bob and Jo

Saturday, January 30, 2016

WE'VE SCHEDULED THE NEUROSTIMULATOR IMPLANT SURGERY

Currently in Goodyear AZ (Low 40 Sunny High 74) 

After her followup appointment for the test and then living a few days without the neurostimulator Jo has decided to have the device implanted.



As with all health care scheduling here in the Valley of the Sun the earliest she could get this done was the end of February and that was only because of a cancellation. There is then a 6-8 week period for the leads near the spine to heal properly, basically build up enough scar tissue so they won't move. Then we will be free to travel.

Whenever a date range is offered we always plan on the maximum which puts us leaving mid to late April. Whenever we leave we still plan on being in the Kansas City area in early May and being there for a month or so. 

Here's hoping that April is unseasonably cool.

Till next time,

Bob and Jo

Thursday, January 28, 2016

WEATHERTECH LINERS UPDATE

Currently in Goodyear AZ (Low 38 Sunny High 72) 

We blogged when we recently purchased Weather Tech liners for our Ford F-350 here, Weather Tech Liners 

When we bought the liners we bought the cleaner and protector specifically for them.


 

We forgot to take a before picture but the cleaner and protector did an amazing job and they looked as good as when we got them.



Thanks to Paul and Margery from Living Our Dream for getting them first which we then researched and decided to buy. We are very happy with these liners.

Till next time,

Bob and Jo

Friday, January 22, 2016

UPDATE ON JO

Currently in Goodyear AZ (Low 40 Sunny High 69) 

After spending the summer here so Jo could get the nerves in her neck cauterized, which has provided some relief, she is now getting treatment on her lower back. It was determined that cauterization may not be the best option so she is currently in the screening trial for 'Neurostimulation Therapy for Chronic Pain'.

During the screening trial wire leads are placed in the epidural space near Jo's spine.



The neurostimulator, about the size of a stopwatch, which is normally implanted, is taped to her back since this is a trial. We were very concerned about this since Jo has a severe tape allergy so the Pain Center had her try different tapes and spraying antihistamine spray on the skin. This worked for a couple different tapes. 

Small electrical currents through the leads to the spine area disrupts the pain signals from the spinal cord to the brain, effectively tricking the brain that there is no pain. This was done Monday and she has a followup appointment today to remove the leads and discuss the trial.

Unfortunately they may not have prepped her well enough to prevent her tape allergy problems which may have caused additional pain messing with the results. There has been a learning curve on usage of the device so while there was some pain relief in an area it sometimes caused discomfort in other areas. Sleeping was a big issue since the device and all the wires were taped to her lower back.

With this mixed bag of results we are hoping she doesn't have to make a decision today. We will keep you posted.

Till next time,

Bob and Jo

Saturday, January 2, 2016

BACK TO OUR WINTER LOCATION

Currently in Goodyear AZ (Low 38 Mostly Clear High 70) 

We left Tonopah Arizona for our short trip (30 miles) back to Goodyear, our usual winter stop. We will be here until April. We enjoyed our one month in Tonopah at Saddle Mountain RV Park but are happy to be here in familiar surroundings especially our grapefruit tree just outside our front door.




It did kinda feel like home as we were pulling in. Plus we are 30 miles closer to all our medical appointments. We setup the hummingbird feeder on the back window and in no time we had hummingbirds.

Till next time,

Bob and Jo

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

HUMMINGBIRDS

Currently in Tonopah AZ (Low 27 Sunny High 62) 

We were surprised when we were setting up here at Saddle Mountain RV Park that a hummingbird flew into the truck while the door was open. This encouraged us to get a feeder that we could suction cup to our back window. We got some great shots.





We even had some woodpeckers decide the feeder might be to their liking. Here is one eyeing the feeder.





Then trying to feed.




The hummingbirds did not appreciate the interlopers.




The cats liked the activity, we did too.




Till next time,

Bob and Jo

Sunday, December 27, 2015

SADDLE MOUNTAIN SUNSETS

Currently in Tonopah AZ (Low 36 Sunny and Cooler High 57) 

As promised here are just a few of the amazing sunsets that we have seen in our months stay in Tonopah Arizona near the Saddle Mountains.









Some of the most amazing sunsets we have ever seen. We also got a picture of the rare full cold moon. For this one it is an almost full cold as neither one of us was up early enough for peak.



Till next time,

Bob and Jo

Thursday, December 24, 2015

MERRY CHRISTMAS FROM ARIZONA

Currently in Tonopah AZ (Low 41 Clouds and Sun High 65) 

Merry Christmas!!

What follows is the note we sent with our Christmas cards. It gives a good summary of our lives since last Christmas.

It certainly was an interesting year! We have spent almost the entire year in Goodyear Arizona trying to find some relief for Jo’s neck and back pain. We have blogged (http://bobandjotravelblog.blogspot.com/) throughout the year and following our blog is the best way to keep up on us. Our photos of all the places we have visited since we began fulltiming is at http://www.flickr.com/photos/bobandjotravel/sets/. Here is a brief summary of what has happened in our lives over the last year. 

We spent last Christmas in our winter spot in Goodyear Arizona just west of Phoenix. We had started Jo out at a pain center in December thinking that was enough time to allow us to leave in April. Everything pain management related happens one after the other and since the pain center is incredibly busy scheduling appointments became a nightmare. We would finish one and the earliest we could get the next one was a month away. That snowballed into spending the summer and ‘enjoying’ more 110 degree days than we thought were possible. 

The hottest we saw was 117 which in a house would not be nice but in an RV was challenging. To tell you how bad it was while watching the weather at 9:20 p.m. the current temperature was usually in the lower 100s. The hottest we saw was 107, at 9p for crying out loud.

We were able to escape the heat a few times traveling to higher elevations in Pinetop and Flagstaff, both in Arizona for about a month total.  It was nice to be in an area where the daytime high was cooler than the overnight low. Coming back though and try to setup in 100 degree weather was not fun. We celebrated our 6th year of living fulltime in an RV while in Goodyear. 

Jo had the nerves in her neck cauterized to block the pain there and they are now working on a plan for her lower back. Cauterization probably won’t work so they are proposing implanting a nerve stimulator.

In other news we took delivery of our new 2015 Lifestyle LS38RS in February in Tucson. We have mixed emotions about our new home. We are glad that we have it and the newer air conditioners did a good job during the heat and are better than the air conditioners in our Cameo but we wish that the manufacturing process would have gone better. There were so many obvious errors that first were made and then not caught until our walkthrough.  

Except for this year, every year we jam a lifetime of vacations into one year but there is still so much more to see and do. Next year we plan on heading to the Midwest for family and friends. Then we will head to Michigan for summer. On the way back to Arizona we will attend the International Balloon Fiesta in Albuquerque.

We hope everyone has a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!! 

See you on the road sometime!!

We leave you with our entry in the Christmas decorating contest at our park in Tonopah, we call it the Charlie Brown Saguaro :-)



Surprisingly we did not win the contest. What is neat about the photo is that the great sunset reflection is seen on the side of our fifth wheel. We will be sharing some great sunset photos in a future blog.

Till next time,

Bob & Jo

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

ADVENTURES IN OBAMACARE, 2016 EDITION (CARTOONS INCLUDED)

Currently in Tonopah AZ (Low 39 Partly Sunny High 75) 

Another year, another adventure in Obamacare for Bob. We added cartoons so people might continue reading because Mike from the "Phannie and Mae" blog says it increases readership.


Bob lost his what he thought was expensive retiree medical coverage because Honeywell said there would multiple choices of cheap individual coverage available under Obamacare. Honeywell must have been drinking the Kool-Aid because it wasn't cheap then and it is getting more expensive and less available.



In his first year of Obamacare Bob went with Blue Cross Blue Shield of Texas and a PPO plan since we travel year round. After one year under Obamacare BCBS lost so much money that they have dropped all PPO plans. This year there were a lot less plans available and they cost more. Bob signed up with United Healthcare who shortly thereafter announced it was likely that 2016 would be its last year in Obamacare. Furthermore they stated they regretted getting involved at all. Obama got what he wanted, bipartisan support.



More cartoons




A couple timely with Christmas and Putin.




Finally this is how Bob feels, and he has a few more years before Medicare.



Who thought you would be looking forward to Medicare. It's not all negative with Obama as he has accomplished a couple of things that we will give him credit for. Jimmy Carter is no longer the worst President and Medicare is looked upon more favorably. Thankfully Bob can no longer say that he voted for the worst President twice.

Till next time,

Bob and Jo

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

ON THE ROAD AGAIN (KINDA)

Currently in Tonopah AZ (Low 33 Plenty of Sunshine High 68) 

We left Goodyear Arizona yesterday and drove a short distance west to Tonopah to the Saddle Mountain RV Park. Here we are parked in our site.




To the right



To the left



The sunsets here are supposed to be nice and we are in a good site to see them. Here is the first night's sunset.




During our setup here with the truck door open Jo saw a hummingbird fly into the truck so we got the hint and put up a feeder stuck to our window. Didn't take long for our first visitor.




The cats will sure enjoy the new visitors.



We decided on this one month stay to give us another trip or two to exercise our RV before our warranty runs out. We are glad that we did because we are still having problems with our Bigfoot automatic leveling system. Oh well the joys of this lifestyle.

Till next time,

Bob and Jo

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

2015 PUMPKINPALOOZA

Currently in Goodyear (Low 34 Sunny High 68) 

We thought that the pumpkin extravaganza for this year was pretty much over, except for pumpkin pie for the holidays. We were are at a farmers market and saw pumpkin cornbread. We of course bought some and it was good. That got us thinking of the best pumpkin we had this year, the final four so to speak. Here they are not in any particular order, first Krispy Kreme Pumpkin Spice donuts.




Pumpkin Spice Popcorn from Costco.




Pumpkin Spice Scones from Trader Joe's.




Pumpkin Cheesecake at Ruby Tuesdays, one of the best we have ever had.




We had some others that were really good like the Pumpkin Spice Donettes and Edwards Pumpkin Spice Pie, Pepperidge Farm Pumpkin Milanos, and a good pumpkin pie concrete at Freddys. 

So much pumpkin, so little time! 

We have not done a good job blogging lately. One of the reasons is that Bob has been doing a lot of research on Obamacare for 2016 and we will have a future blog posting on that on other topics as we hopefully become a little bit more regular in our blogging.

Till next time,

Bob and Jo

Thursday, November 12, 2015

SAW 'THE INTERN'

Currently in Goodyear AZ (Low 40 Sunny High 73) 

We have to say as senior citizens we agree with this,



Experience never gets old. Although we may disagree with the premise of the movie, that a retiree would be bored and would look to an internship at a startup internet company, we felt that this was a good movie to see.

Recently widowed Ben Whittaker (Robert De Niro) becomes a senior intern at a clothing supply internet company run by Jules Olsen (Anne Hathaway). Ben's business acumen and lessons learned from a long life help him develop friendships and assist the struggling company.

Great acting as usual from these two and others. We really enjoyed the home burglary scene. Once we got past the feeling that you could be bored in retirement we really enjoyed the movie and recommend it.

Till next time,

Bob and Jo

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

REALLY DIDN'T NEED MORE T-SHIRTS

Currently in Goodyear AZ (Low 50 Cloudy High 68) 

With our limited closet space we have drastically reduced the number of t-shirts, and overall clothing we have purchased since we began fulltiming over 6 years ago. The Kansas City Royals' magical run to a World Series title caused us to make a few purchases. First when the Royals won the American League Pennant we bought these.




Then when the Royals won the World Series we bought these, one for each of us.





Then we saw this on Facebook



Bob graduated from Iowa State with a BS in Mechanical Engineering a long time ago, so long that he started out with a slide rule :-)

It has been so long ago that Jo thinks that Bob could make money by not wearing the shirt since Iowa State would not want that to be known.

Till next time,

Bob and Jo